(GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip) -- The Palestinian civilian death toll mounted Monday as Israeli aircraft struck densely populated areas in the Gaza Strip in a campaign to quell militant rocket fire menacing nearly half of Israel's population.
An overnight air strike on two houses belonging to an extended clan in Gaza City killed two children and two adults, and injured 42 people, said Gaza heath official Ashraf al-Kidra.
The Israeli military insists its strikes target only militants -- with surgical precision -- and they say they're hitting those targets. But CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports that in one of the most densely populated places on the planet, civilian casualties are inevitably mounting.
D'Agata saw what was left Monday morning of a police headquarters that was completely destroyed by two bombs overnight. It was a legitimate target; considered part of the Hamas security apparatus, and it was a surgical strike, but the Israeli missiles blew out all the windows of homes nearby. There's a reason the Isreali military attacks at night. With such a ferocious explosion, anybody on the street would likely have been killed.
Shortly after the overnight strike on the two houses in Gaza, Israeli aircraft bombarded the remains of the former national security compound in Gaza City. Flying shrapnel killed one child and wounded others living nearby, al-Kidra said. Five farmers were killed in two separate strikes, al-Kidra said, including three who had been identified earlier by Hamas security officials as Islamic Jihad fighters.
Civilian casualties began to shoot up on Sunday, after Israel said it was stepping up attacks on the homes of suspected Hamas activists. After that warning, an Israeli missile flatted a two-story house in a residential area of Gaza City, killing at least 11 civilians, most of them women and children.